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St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties set to form regional medical examiner office

By: Brian Flinchpaugh


St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties may join together to form a “regional medical examiner office” that will handle autopsies, medical examining and death investigations.

The St. Charles County Council gave a first reading at its Dec. 4 meeting to a bill establishing an ordinance for the agreement. A second and final reading before a council decision could take place as early as the council’s Dec. 18 meeting.

Joann Leykam, the county’s director of administration, said the agreement allows the county to continue to utilize the services of Dr. Mary Case, a renowned neuropathologist and forensic pathologist. Case has served as medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County as well as St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

The new agreement will not include the Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center. Case is a professor of pathology at the university.

Leykam said Saint Louis University, which handles paperwork for the medical examiner’s department, had included a major price increase for next year.

The budget for the regional examiner’s office is expected to include a $1.46 million in expenditures divided proportionally between the three counties.  The budget includes $588,575 for salaries and benefits that include a chief investigator and two death investigators, office staff, the medical examiner and contracted pathologists. The medical examiner’s contracted salary is $191,400.

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